Seduction Of Europe – Legion Of Honor Exhibition Review

art, art history, Casanova, exhibition, Legion Of Honor, old masters, paintings, Seduction Of Europe

Roses Under The Sun framed artwork by Irina Sztukowski . Link to the print is HERE

  

Flowers And Music by Irina Sztukowski. Link to the canvas print is HERE
Blue Music by Irina Sztukowski. Link to print is HERE

An interesting combination of objects and subjects came to my mind when exploring a new exhibition Casanova: The Seduction Of Europe that is now presented in Legion Of Honor Museum in San Francisco. I thought about combined beauty of Flowers, Gold, Nude, and Music. The exhibition has many more subjects mix there. 

Per organizers:
In the dynamic world of mid-eighteenth century Europe, people, ideas, and aesthetics crossed national boundaries. For an intelligent, curious, confident, and lucky person like Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798), the possibilities must have seemed endless. Stretching the limits of both social and physical mobility, he traveled from his native Venice to Paris, London, Dresden, and even Russia and the Ottoman Empire. He charmed—and was charmed by—every level of European society, from scoundrels to kings.Casanova went everywhere, knew everyone, and wrote it all down. His twelve-volume autobiography—The Story of My Life—provides an unrivaled account of eighteenth-century society. Casanova was famously a womanizer and a cheat. He broke promises, perpetrated frauds, and skipped out on creditors. Many of his sexual exploits were scandalous and criminal in his own time, and, for different reasons, would be considered reprehensible today. But he was also a multitalented and multilingual intellectual and a keen observer of society, endowed with a surprisingly modern candor and capacity for self-invention. Many of the trends in our own society—from our obsession with celebrity culture to the confessions we make on social media—find precedents in Casanova’s writings and experiences.

I loved exploring the art of 18th Century with its range from hyper realism to an obvious impressionistic approach for boudoir love scenes. 

Here are a few examples of city scapes from the beginning of the century:
Giovanni Antonio Canal, The Grand Canal from Campo San Vio, 1730-35

Bernardo Bellotto, View Of Dresden 1747

a fragment close up view of gorgeous oil painting:
A part of exhibition was devoted to portrait paintings of famous people of that time
Anton Rafael Mengs, Self Portrait 1776

Jean-Marc Nattier, Manon Balletti, 1757





A large part, as the Casanova’s famous name was associated with theater, love, and adventure was devoted to love scenes that were kept in bedrooms for an aesthetics and pleasure:




Jean-Marc Nattier, Talia, Muse Of Comedy 1739:





Jean Baptiste Le Prince, Fear, 1769:

Luis Jean Fransois Lagrenee, Mars And Venus, Allegory Of Peace, 1770:

The artworks of passion and love:
But my favorite of all from this exhibition was Rococo large paintings that depicted scene from ancient Roman literature.

Per Encyclopedia Britannica:
Rococo style, style in interior design, the decorative arts, painting, architecture, and sculpture that originated in Paris in the early 18th century but was soon adopted throughout France and later in other countries, principally Germany and Austria. It is characterized by lightness, elegance, and an exuberant use of curving, natural forms in ornamentation. The word Rococo is derived from the French word rocaille, which denoted the shell-covered rock work that was used to decorate artificial grottoes.

François Boucher (September 29, 1703 – May 30, 1770) was a French painter, a proponent of Rococo taste, known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes, decorative allegories representing the arts or pastoral occupations, and intended as a sort of two-dimensional furniture. He also painted several portraits of his illustrious patroness, Madame de Pompadour.

Six Methological paintings by François Boucher, 1769:

  
With its gorgeous details:


I also was pleasantly surprised to find a few artworks painted with watercolors by Muller and Parr at this exhibition. 


 Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!

   

Farewell To The Summer

art business, art career, art studio, artist, floral pattern, illustration, images, Irina Sztukowski, labels, old masters, project, summer, Watercolor
When my friends started asking me this week how was my Summer vacation, I had to admit that I haven’t left the house for more than five days in the raw. 

I asked myself:”Oh, Gosh! What I actually did this Summer?” as it flew by so very quickly.

Besides finishing two large commission pieces.

bicycle basket cats flowers window
and
sorrento lemon
and wrapping up the Yogurt Labels project with one Irish customer:

This project included sweets like Blueberries and Raspberries, Lemons and Forest Berries, Rhubarb and Vanilla; and, even Caramel Fudge images for yogurt lables. But the most interesting challenge all of them were in the black and white, were placed on different backgrounds in special PNG format of the image. A totally new approach for me as an artist, who mostly painted in watercolor.
So, I guess, instead of going on long vacations, I did take a mini-ones, mostly for the inspiration. 

The Trip To The Woods (my latest post) was a good example of it.

Or, going to San Francisco museums left a good impression and inspired me to  research an Old Masters paintings, such William Turner (the post pretty soon will come up) or Dutch Still Life Masters art
I’ve even painted one seascape following a good traditions of Great Britain masters this Summer:
Old Masters tradition
This Summer was really big for me in understanding better the illustration part of my art business.
I started creating many images with Floral Patterns (ha-ha, Summer really helped to get into the flowery mood :0) 
I also got kinda crazy about ballet and ballerinas silhouettes, which led to the opening a whole new Dance Gallery. I will elaborate on this in one of the upcoming articles. Here is a sneak peek:

Abstract Watercolor

And the last but not least I have added a Baby Room Gallery to my website; that became a quite popular among my customers and art collectors.
Just recently a client from Pinehurst, North Carolina purchased a bulk of cute pillows with my designs:

Wow, my Summer was big, BIG!! No wonder that I didn’t travel much in the last three months 🙂

Instead, my art did. This Summer my artworks prints traveled to the states such CO, NY, FL, AZ, NC, CA, NV, TX, MA, MI, IL, UT, CT. And some of the artworks ended up in  England, Ireland, Kuwait, and Australia. 
I envy my art is traveling more than I do 🙂

But I do have to admit, if I didn’t spend so much time in my studio this Summer, my Summer wouldn’t be so successful!! 

Big virtual hugs to all my Followers and Art Collectors!!



www.artirina.com


Stormy Seascape Vintage Style

British School, De Young Museum, impressionism, landscape, mountains, ocean, old masters, realism, rocky, sailboat, San Francisco, sea, seascape, shore, style, Watercolor, William Turner
Ocean watercolor painting Old Masters style
In eager anticipation of a future trip to see William Turner‘s exhibition, that is taking place this Summer at the De Yong Museum in San Francisco; I’ve decided to create my own vintage style seascape painting:


In this artwork I followed not only good traditions of Old Masters of the British School; but also allowed myself to apply some fast brushstrokes in Impressionistic style.

Pretty much whole painting was completed in a dry brush technique when I used a very hard bristles (two size brushes), creating layer after layer to achieve the deep sea rough waters, the rocky mountains, and dramatic skies.

A lonely sailboat heading back to the harbor to escape the upcoming storm, The shore mountains are still lit by the sun in some places, but very soon, all will turn dark from the shadows of the clouds and those powerful ocean waves.

An interesting mysterious story:
When I finished the painting, I noticed a smiley face in the clouds. I left it there, thinking, “it is probably William Turner, looking at my art and saying: Good Job Irina!! Well Done!!”
🙂



www.artirina.com

Playing with Mirrors and Crystals, Seashells and Sea Salt

art by Irina, crystal, old masters, Painting, realism in watercolor, salt, sea salt, sea shell, seashell, step by step, Still Life, technique, Watercolor
Realistic Still Life
When painting this rather classic style still life I used some very old and some modern techniques. 
A buzz about Camera Obscura   or Camera Lucida on how the Old Masters used all available and imaginable tools to achieve realism in their art, including the use of mirrors; all that and a bit curiosity inspired me to make one experiment. 

Usually, I use mirror when I estimate an almost complete artworks of mine. The reflection helps to “abstract” from the subject of countless hours of work and see it with the new eye.

But, yet, I have never painted the way I painted this still life.

It is known that painting crystals is not an easy task, especially looking closely at each sparkling edge that can mislead the artist’s hand.
So, instead of painting from live still life, I used the mirror. From the very beginning, I’ve looked not at an object of my painting but into the mirror. And, I’ve painted the reflection: 

For the background I’ve used a modern technique by applying sea salt into wen-on-wet paint. After the salt dried, it created a beautiful texture that no brush can do:

At the very end I checked the accuracy of values by, again, using mirror’s help: I’ve placed the painting upside-down and looked at the reflection, made a few additions until I was satisfied with the result:  


The Old Masters technique was quite fun to use and really helpful! 

Apples and Lime – Putting Hands To Work

drawing, Dutch Republic, Fine Art, hand, old masters, realism, sketches, Still Life, Sztukowski, Watercolor
realism in watercolor
Click on Image for a detailed view
I am making a very good progress on my complex Old Masters/ Dutch Style still life (my favorite thing to paint actually).. 

This is a complete, so to speak, fragment. Complete, but a Fragment. I played with the virtual frame to show that even a fragment can be sufficient when speaking about composition. The only thing I would change if I set this still life as a separate thing; I’d place the knife towards the apples.. But because it is a fragment, it will point “out” of the painting ..

Meantime, the drawing in the class required some serious hand work.. I’ve put my hands and some other students hands 
TO WORK 
:0)

In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Still Life With Garlic, Olive, and an Old Pot

art, bestseller, decoration, design, Dutch, garlic, home art, Home Decor, Irina, living room art, old masters, realism, realism in watercolor, Still Life, Sztukowski, wall art, watercolor garlic
Click HERE to see the details of the painting
This is a watercolor painting in Old Masters Still Life style. 
Garlic, Olive and an Old Pot. In order to achieve the most realistic effect, I placed the objects in front of me; and carefully observed them before painting, then I drew the outlines, covered the Garlic and an Olive with making fluid. As in my other still life I worked first on the background using a mixture of Burnt Siena, Raw Amber, Ultramarine Blue, and Paines Gray Winsor&Newton Artist grade watercolor. And after the background was bone-dry I worked on the Garlic, and Olive with the following techniques: first wet-on-wet, then wet-on-dry, and the last touches were in dry  “thirsty” brush. This helped to achieve a maximum realism for my painting.
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The Original Painting Still Life With Garlic and Olive is 10″x14″ on 300lb Cold Pressed Arches
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul



Mister Onion

aquabord, art that sells, bestseller, old masters, Onion painting, Painting, real, realism, realism in watercolor, realistic onion, Still Life, Sztukowski, Uncategorized, Watercolor
Detailed Image is HERE

This is the study of the onion that I did a couple of weeks ago preparing for one of my Old Masters Style Still Life paintings. The challenge was that I had at least three sources of light and had to capture the highlight to present a round shape of this vegetable. I chose the strongest highlight and stuck to it. The other challenge (that probably brought me the most fun) that the surface was not a paper, but Aquabord, the rough surface of which requires a lot of skill to place the wash in one setting and then go with the damp brush and try not to lift the fist layer.
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Original Artwork is 6″x6″ on Aquabord by Ampersand painted with St. Petersburg Watercolor

In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul